There are two camps of summer dessert lovers: those who are all about creamy ice cream and gelato and those who are all about the tart, fruity flavor in granitas and sorbets.
But what if a dessert could deliver beautifully on both fronts? Imagine the satisfaction of ice cream minus the messiness of a peach. Enter: peach ice cream. Not peach gelato or sorbet, although each of those has its place. But peach ice cream, with all the satisfying butterfat content and round, soothing mouthfeel you crave, plus that inimitable tart-sweetness of summer stone fruit at its peak.
Whole milk, heavy cream and three golden egg yolks are key to the creaminess of this recipe. It gets a sparkle of freshness from a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice, and an ethereal bouquet thanks to vanilla extract. The sugar content is minimal—just half a cup plus two tablespoons. It’s the full two cups of summery peaches that lend each scoop its sweetness.
Our tip? Have the ingredients handy to make two batches, one right on top of the next. Nothing is sadder than scraping the bottom of the bowl of something this good.
Fresh Peach Ice Cream
- 2 cups (8 oz./250 g) peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped peaches (about 2 large peaches)
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) plus 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) whole milk
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. In a small bowl, toss together the peaches and lemon juice. In a food processor, combine half of the peaches and the 2 Tbs. sugar and puree until smooth. Set aside the pureed peaches and the remaining 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) chopped peaches in separate small bowls.
2. In a saucepan, combine the milk, 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) of the cream, and the 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 1⁄4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) cream until well blended.
3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until bubbles form around the edges and the sugar dissolves, 4 to 5 minutes. Do not allow to come to a boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolk mixture while slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture. When almost all of the hot liquid has been added, slowly pour the warmed yolk mixture back into the saucepan, still whisking. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. Do not boil.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pureed peaches and vanilla. Pour the hot custard through a sieve into a clean bowl, gently pressing the liquid through the sieve and leaving any grainy solids in the sieve.
5. Prepare an ice bath by partially filling a large bowl with ice water. Nestle the bowl with the custard in the ice bath and let cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard and on top of the bowl. Refrigerate for 3 to 24 hours.
6. Prepare an ice cream maker with at least a 1-quart (1-l) capacity according to the manufacturer’s directions. Pour the custard into the ice cream maker and churn until the custard reaches the consistency of thick whipped cream. During the last 1 to 2 minutes of churning, add the reserved peaches and continue to churn just until incorporated. Transfer to a plastic freezer container, cover tightly and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days. Makes about 1 quart (1 l).
For more than 60 recipes and ideas for scoops, shakes, slushes, sundaes, sandwiches and special-occasion treats, check out our cookbook Frozen Desserts.